Save Time & Money By Axing The Bus Fare?

Here’s an idea for the MTA, axe the bus fare on routes such as the M34 & M42 because it would speed up the commute & save money from the need of fewer buses to service the routes. Sound crazy? The Regional Plan Association sure doesn’t think so as they proposed the idea this past Thursday. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more in this report:

The cash-strapped MTA could speed bus trips and cut expenses – by not charging fares on some Manhattan routes, a respected think tank suggested Thursday.

Eliminate that process on routes like the M34 and the M42, on 34th and 42nd Sts., and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority still might not absorb a big loss, according to the Regional Plan Association. Here’s the logic.

For most crosstown bus riders, the trip is just one leg of a larger one that includes the subway. Transfers between the buses and subway trains are free. So, bus riders can simply get on without paying, according to an association report on possible mass transit upgrades.

“Most of the people riding those buses are taking the train, so you capture the revenue anyway,” said Jeffrey Zupan, senior transportation fellow at the association.

Any revenue losses probably would be offset by improved efficiency, Zupan said. Bus trips would become quicker, meaning fewer buses would be needed.

Click here for the complete report.

You know now that I think about the idea, it sounds like it has some potential. I for one tend to ride crosstown buses to quickly go from one side of town to the other & back to subway when I am done. From what I have always noticed, many do the same exact thing so Jeffrey makes a good point. However I do wonder how much time could really be saved as loading passengers faster still won’t take care of the gridlock on such major crosstown streets. I think this proposal could really work if dedicated bus lanes were properly setup & fully enforced on these roads.

In the end who knows if the MTA would consider such an idea. However they have nothing to lose by at least taking a look at the feasibility of this plan. Any chance to save money should not be ignored considering the financial shape the agency is in.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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